Master Leong once said that one needs time and money to learn Tai Chi. Rare is the student who has both. Most of us either have one or the other but not both.
However, when you have both it does not mean that your learning of Tai Chi will be a success unless you put heart and soul into it, focusing on Tai Chi and Tai Chi alone, hammering at it day after day until you make a breakthrough.
Some students like to learn lots of stuff, Tai Chi or otherwise. Since time is limited the more time you distribute amongst different areas of focus the less time you have for Tai Chi. You end up knowing a lot except its also knowing a lot lesser about Tai Chi because of your wide interest. Read the paragraph below from a newspaper interview :-
Two subjects. The lady who said this had only to learn two subjects and she already felt the second subject would be at the expense of her expertise in her primary subject. Now imagine she were to learn a few more topics like pottery, knitting, MMA, etc.
When we want to master Tai Chi we must treat it like a Zen koan, an itch to be scratched constantly. It is unsatisfactory to think we can put it aside and become good at it. We can’t. If you think you don’t want to practice because your movements look horrible then you will never become good at it. It is because your movements are terrible that you have to practice even more. Not practicing means zero progress.
How should one practice? Again some words of wisdom from the same lady :-
Did you get what she said? You not only must practice but you must think about your practice A LOT!!!
If your only thinking is how to innovate, how to do things your way without having mastered even the simplest basics then learning an intricate art like Tai Chi will be difficult. Mastery means learn the basics really well by thinking how to get them correct, basically bridging the gap between learning and mastery. Most of the time this means follow instructions first and foremost. Then and only then do you develop a solid foundation to refine the skills and innovate further down the road. Not practicing enough, not following instructions won’t get you far, if at all and is a surefire recipe for failure.
The 3-Count is a very simple basic principle. I give you 6 months tops to master it if you will work on it for at least 1 hour every day, 5 days every week for the next 6 months in accordance to prescribed instructions.
If you do not diligently, mindfully, conscientiously, wholeheartedly and faithfully following instructions work on it you will not get anywhere even after 10 years, because you did not take that first important step to walk to destination Mastery!
Oh, the lady whose words of wisdom I mentioned above. You can read her interview here. You should pay heed to what she said because she is after all a champion in her chosen sport. The video that accompanies the article is at :-
The road to mastery begins with knowing how to get to your destination. Find out more here.